The relationship between obsessions and panic crises

The relationship between obsessions and panic crises

The anxiety disorders They are the busiest in the neurotic pathology of the human being. In the emergency rooms of Psychiatry of any general hospital is usually observed daily when the crisis arises.


  • 1 Types of anxious disorders
  • 2 What do panic crises consist of?
  • 3 How to improve anxious symptoms
  • 4 Conclusion

Types of anxious disorders

The episode of panic crisis is perhaps the most paralyzing for the person who lives it because the power of the thoughts in those moments is so great that the person's feeling is "to be trapped by himself". The reaction: the flight of one's own self; something really impossible.

But let's try to sort the topic for your understanding, starting with the definition of anxiety disorders. Anxiety is that emotion we feel when we think we are threatened by something or someone. It is an innate response in the human being that as a child preserves him from many dangers and it is normal to experience it in certain situations.

When anxiety arises without any reckless stimulus that justifies its presence, then it is an unnecessary response that should be treated as a psychological disorder.

According to the psychiatric classification of the different mental illnesses, DSM V, anxiety disorders are classified into:

  1. Anxiety disorder without agoraphobia
  2. Distress disorder with agoraphobia
  3. Agoraphobia without history of distress disorder
  4. Specific phobia
  5. Social phobia
  6. Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  7. Post-traumatic stress disorder
  8. Acute stress disorder
  9. Generalized anxiety disorder
  10. Anxiety disorder due to?
  11. Anxiety disorder not specified.

But as the objective of this article is not academic, we will speak purely of panic crises and obsessions.

What do panic crises consist of?

The so-called panic crises are overflowing episodes of anxiety in which the person stops acting paralyzed by fear. There is no apparent stimulus to justify it, at least in reality, because she believes she can fade, suffer a heart attack or any other situation of loss of control. Thoughts follow one another quickly invading all logical and rational criteria. From that moment on, nothing is what it seems and doubt floods all reasoning.

The subject suffering from panic fears any action and nowhere is certain because it is his thought that overflows him, uncontrolled him. The thoughts that follow each other to unbalance it follow the same schemes:

  1. They look like shorthand
  2. They are repetitive
  3. Are specific
  4. Contain keywords
  5. They are irrational, despite which they are almost always believed
  6. They are usually difficult to stop or divert.
  7. They dramatize using terms of the type: "should of", "and yes?"
  8. They live like spontaneous.

The person listens carefully to those messages that he sends to himself, he believes them and assumes the lack of control and fear that paralyzes him wanting to escape at all costs from himself, that is, from his thoughts. Automatic thoughts upon being believed settle more strongly in the person as part of their daily lives. This fact reduces socialization in the person who suffers them, who limits exits and contacts because of the fear that the crisis will occur again. Start by avoiding those places where he felt that these automatic thoughts invaded him and little by little, with the generalization of his attacks, he becomes someone unable to leave his own house.

How to improve anxious symptoms

The solution to this so limiting behavior is to work the thoughts that provoke that unpleasant emotion. For this we have different techniques within the cognitive behavioral psychology such as the arrest of thought, the previous detection of those thoughts, the confrontation of those with reality, etc.? The consequence that is intended with that attempt to confront distorted thoughts with the rational is for oneself to create the absurdity of paralyzing thought and thus eliminate them from the inner language.

We will analyze a distorting thought and its confrontation with reality to better understand the process:

"I am a person who, for reasons of my work, usually have meetings in which I direct a group of subordinates how to do their work. They are usually routines that from my own and extensive experience do not pose any fear to me. The problem arises the day when Like many other days I go to a more general meeting of the firm and being quietly talking with each other, I feel my name is pronounced loudly and the room is silent waiting for me to go to the "invitation" to answer the question in question that is made to me and that I can not remember. Fear paralyzes my legs and I feel faint, I am not able to move and much less to mediate, what happens to me? I can not explain it but that day I totally did the ridiculous".

These are the introductory words of the problem of panic in the face of social situations suffered by a 38-year-old patient. And it goes on like this:

"From that day I could not continue to develop my work with the comfort that characterized me. Now I fear any meeting as simple as it may be and there has come a point my fear that I am not able to go to work for fear of requesting my presence and my words in an impromptu meeting. "

I ask him how he feels and describes: "I feel a failure, someone who is not qualified and ridiculous, I know that people laugh at me for incompetence."

What do you think happened to you that day? - I request - "I saw too many pending eyes of me and I thought I would not know what to say"

Are you not someone competent in your work? - I question - "Before yes, now no longer."

What makes you think like that? - I ask - "I could not open my mouth that day".

Do you think that the competence in a job is valued for a day and not for an accumulation of situations? - I insist - "I saw their faces and knew what they thought."

If you had belonged to the group that was listening, you would have worried to think that someone who did not respond to a lawsuit was classified as incompetent - I rebuked - "That is something different, I was the one who did not give an answer."

The only certainty is that you did not respond to the request for opinion, the rest are conjectures that you make yourself without any rational support. If instead you had not given importance because ultimately we can all have a bad day, you would not let an episode without more importance than the one you intend to give spoil your life. If you had laughed at your "panic" the moment it happened considering the event as normal, now you would not be here. You felt uncomfortable interpreting the thoughts of the other attendees to ridicule you. It is your thoughts of that moment that have maintained your current panic behavior. - I said -.

In the life, daily, we encounter situations that cause us to panic. If the automatic thoughts that invade us at that time are irrational and dramatic, we tend to prolong the unpleasant emotion, generalizing it in other later situations. The thought generates an emotion that is maintained if the situation that caused the thought was experienced as threatening.

Imagine slipping in the boardroom when you are serving coffee. Faced with the big slip, the bosses laugh and you think: "What a ridiculous thing I have just done, surely they have thought that I am useless and silly." The emotion felt is shame and in the future you will avoid serving coffee in the boardroom. If, in addition, every time you encounter one of those who witnessed the "disaster" you think you are still laughing at me, panic will invade different areas of your life, avoiding situations in your everyday environment. The more negativity and irrationality you gave your thoughts, the more acute the panic would be. "What you think" is translated into your actions, so it is important that you try to maintain good contact with reality when expressing the inner language.


Obsessions are deforming thoughts that constantly remain in your mind creating a continuous obsession.. Obsession is a phenomenon that appears in your consciousness against the will of the subject. You live as absurd, illogical, oblivious to self. The obsessive phenomenon can be: an idea, a memory, a fear, an impulse, an act, can have an indifferent content for the subject but the normal thing is that it is something lived as intolerable and unpleasant. Because of this, the subject tends to develop defensive behaviors and rituals to overcome the obsession, which is what we call "compulsion." Obsessive people with a tendency to neatness and order are perfectionists who demand a lot from those who form their environment.

Panic and obsession correspond to internal struggles of the person who feels continually threatened by himself and his thoughts. The first accumulates a large dose of anxiety paralyzing any reaction. The second, more rigid and controlling, manifests rituals to eliminate the obsession that cannot be avoided. The two suffer but the key to overcoming both is in the detection of distorting thoughts.

Work your thoughts, confronting them with reality to overcome these disorders.

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